Times-News: Boulder-White Clouds Debate Continues



The debate over the possible designation of the Boulder-White Clouds as a national monument continued to heat up during a joint meeting between the Blaine and Custer county commissioners on May 7. The Twin Falls Times-News reported this morning that the meeting opened with Blaine County Commissioner Larry Schoen asking his board to find common ground with Custer County commissioners in hopes of bridging the gap. Instead, he opened the floodgates to frustration–and expletives. 

Custer County Commissioner Wayne Butts turned conservationists in support of the monument into a punching bag. He said he felt "lied to" by advocates when they expanded the monument proposal–now before the Obama administration–from 571,276 to 591,905 acres; most of it in Custer County. The Blaine commission supports the monument idea while the Custer commission has opposed it.

"They assured this board that if there was anything in the works that they would come to us," Butts said. "Well, they not only lied, they stabbed us in the back. We read it in the [newspapers] ... so the relationship is not looking real good."

After the fractious meeting, members of both commissions agreed to draft a letter asking various federal officials to come to the area and answer questions about the monument declaration process and key issues. The boards will meet again on May 29 in Challis.